The cardiology department of the Sikkim government-owned STNM Hospital in Gangtok has achieved a major milestone by conducting 1,000 surgeries in its cardiac catheterization lab, also called cath-lab, in the little over three years of its launch.
D. P. Rai, the consultant interventional cardiologist of the hospital, said the milestone moment was achieved by successfully conducting triple vessels angioplasty with four coronary stents on a male patient on Sunday.
Cardiac catheterization is an invasive imaging procedure to evaluate heart function. A Cath-lab is where tests and procedures, including ablation, angiogram, angioplasty and implantation of pacemakers are carried out.
Rai said the milestone was a testimony to the excellent work culture and dedication of the staff of the cardiology department, including fellow cardiologist Palden Wangchuk Bhutia, medical officers Sahil Munsi, Alok Kundu, Pratibha Rai, Prashun Chettri, Chemi Donka and the nurses. “All the credit for the success goes to my colleagues,” he added.
Sikkim chief minister P. S. Tamang (Golay) led the state in congratulating Rai and his team for their achievement. “Our government is continuously working to further enhance the health facilities in the state, and I congratulate the entire Cardiology department, including Medical Officers, Senior Cath-Lab technicians, Cath-Lab Nurses, and Nurses of Cardiology ICCU led by Dr. D.P Rai for their dedication and efforts,” he said in a message.
The cath-lab was installed in the multi-speciality hospital in April 2019, three months after its inauguration. The nearly 1,000-bed hospital was set up by the previous Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) government headed by Pawan Chamling at about Rs 1,300 crore.
The hospital provides free treatment to the domiciles of the state. The expenses incurred by the state employees are reimbursed later.
Pempa T. Bhutia, the director general-cum-secretary of the Sikkim health department, said the hospital also receives patients from neighbouring north Bengal, including the hills, and even Nepal. “They get treated here for various ailments at a much lower cost than what they have to incur in private hospitals in their respective places,” he told The Telegraph.
According to Bhutia, patients from outside the state who are covered under the Centrally-sponsored Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana also get free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh per annum.